Ledecky Wins USA Swimming Athlete of the Year Honors
Olympic gold medalist and World Champion Katie Ledecky was named USA Swimming Athlete of the Year at the 2013 United States Aquatic Sports Convention Saturday. The 16-year-old also took home the Phillips 66 Performance Award for her record-breaking performance in the 1500m free at World Championships.
Ledecky earned four gold medals and broke two world records at the 2013 FINA World Championships in Barcelona, Spain. She broke world and American records in the 1500m and 800m freestyle and won gold in her first international relay, the women’s 4x200m free. Ledecky also won gold and set the American record in the 400m free, becoming the first U.S. women to break 4:00.00 in the event. She was the recipient of the FINA Trophy as the highest scoring female swimmer of the meet. Ledecky also earned three 2013 National Championship titles in the 400m, 800m, and 1500m free.
Ledecky’s Phillips 66 Performance Award came in her 1500m free swim at World Championships. She won the gold medal and set a world record with a time of 15:36.53, besting the rest of the field by 2.35 seconds, and breaking the previous world record by over six seconds.
Ron Van Pool took home the 2013 USA Swimming Award. The USA Swimming Award is the highest honor in the sport of swimming, given to the individual or organization with the most outstanding contribution to the sport.
Van Pool began his career in USA Swimming as a parent watching his child compete on the local swim team. He became an official and has been a part of USA Swimming for more than 30 years. He served as an official at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta and was also the head referee at the 2000 U.S. Olympic Swim Trials. From 2002-2006, Van Pool was the President of USA Swimming.
Van Pool has served as the USA Swimming representative to the USOC and the National Governing Body Council for over 10 years, and is a member of the USSIC Board of Directors. He is the ex-officio member of the USA Swimming Board and is a member of the Safe Sport Committee.
In open water swimming, three awards were presented. World Championship gold medalist Haley Anderson (Granite Bay, Calif.) was named the Female Open Water Swimmer of the Year while 10k National Champion Alex Meyer (Ithaca, N.Y.) was named the Fran Crippen Memorial Male Open Water Swimmer of the Year. Catherine Vogt, the 2013 World Championship head open water coach, was presented with the Glen S. Hummer Award, given to the person making the greatest contribution to open water swimming for the year.
In disability swimming, 2013 Paralympic gold medalist Ian Silverman earned the Trischa L. Zorn Award. The award is presented for the outstanding performance of the year by an adapted swimmer.
USA Swimming staff member Cathy Durance was awarded the Athletes’ Appreciation Award at the USA Swimming House of Delegates session on Friday. The award recognizes the individual or organization perceived by the committee to have contributed most significantly to the Athletes' Movement.
A complete list of tonight’s winners is as follows:
Female Open Water Swimmer of the Year: Haley Anderson
Fran Crippen Memorial Male Swimmer of the Year: Alex Meyer
Glen S. Hummer Award: Catherine Vogt
Adolph Kiefer Safety Commendation Award: Andrew Appleby
Trischa L. Zorn Award: Ian Silverman
James Raymond “Jimi” Flowers Disability Coach of the Year: Brian Loefler
Outstanding Service Award (Disability): Mark Rieniets
Make a Splash Hero Award: Dia Rianda
Diversity Inclusion Award: Martiza Correia McClendon
Ken Pettigrew Award: Ed Ruth
ASCA Coach of the Year (Presented at the ASCA Convention): Bruce Gemmell
Developmental Coach of the Year: David Marsh
Athletes’ Appreciation Award: Cathy Durance
Phillips66 Performance of the Year Award: Katie Ledecky, 1500m Free – 2013 World Championships
USA Swimming Athlete of the Year: Katie Ledecky
USA Swimming Award: Ron Van Pool